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Why Most SEO's Are Fake

Fake SEO - If you hear this from your vendor run away!

I have been an SEO for a long time. If there is one thing that is constant in this business is that it constantly changes. Google makes an average of 1.5 Algorithm changes each day with varying degrees of intensity. The most difficult thing about being an SEO is staying informed with the most up to date information and learning how to apply it. Most SEOs don't do this and are stuck with the same education they received years ago in search engine optimization, if they were ever educated at all.


To prove my point, here's an example of a spam email I received from an "SEO" Company:

"Dear Webmaster,

As the Site operator of XXXXX I would like to invite you to exchange links with us.

The entire week we will conduct a unique link exchange that will focus on real links with real traffic from real sites with real content!

Why Trade links with us?

A. Totally free of charge.B. We have an extremely high Alexa Traffic Rank compared to other online SEO websites.C. We occupy Google's top positions for various topics.D. We are content rich and proud of it!

I would like to keep this link exchange as relevant as possible to your site(s) as well, this is why I'm offering a variety of inner pages you can link to and remember, sites sending good related links will receive the same treatment in terms of quality and relevance. Please let me know what type of link exchanges is optional for xxxxx I can offer you:

  • Three-way/In-direct Exchanges
  • Links from related sites within content
  • High PR and/or Content Backlinks
  • Any other suggestion you might have...

It all ends up with what you've got to offer. We promise a free, fair and honest exchange with each of our participants."

Sounds pretty good doesn't it? Well, did anyone tell you that neither of those work anymore and they can actually hurt you? Did they tell you that Google HATES link exchanges? As a matter of fact Google has a whole Web spam team looking for link exchanges and the people who use them, so that they can ban them or penalize them.

In addition, link building is now more about the quality and relevance of the link than about the number of links. In these cases, you have SEO's who are either knowingly lying, or still legitimately think that these tactics will actually help their customers. I contend that they don't know any better. Why? Because they are lazy. If they weren't lazy, they wouldn't be using spam as a primary means of marketing. It is very easy, and cheap, to do. REAL marketing is neither. This is why I doubt they are taking the time to study. They have probably heard about some of the updates, but do not know the intricacy's and definitely haven't adapted their strategy's.

Synopsis Of What Good SEOs Know

While Google's early algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin in 2011 and 2012 set the stage for prioritizing quality content and penalizing manipulative tactics, the search giant has continued to refine its approach with even more sophisticated updates like BERT in 2019 and MUM in 2021. These advancements have further enhanced Google's ability to understand user intent, reward comprehensive and informative content, and ensure a seamless user experience across different platforms. It was also designed to penalize link exchanges and link farms. This algorithm has been updated numerous times since then.

Penguin was designed to prevent spammers from being able to manipulate the Google's rankings with low quality or irrelevant links. The actual updates, and their subsequent successors, are very complex changes that require a lot of study to understand. For instance, numerous case studies have indicated that Google uses its own ranking metrics to determine the relevance and strength of a link from another website. So, for instance, if you were trying to rank in Google for the term "blue widgets", how the site ranks for "blue widgets" and other "widget" related terms will influence the SEO power of a link on that site back to your site for those terms.

This makes a lot of sense because Google is just using the same algorithmic data it uses to rank a site in order to determine it's relevance and strength. However, if you talk to a lot of SEO's, they will tell you "the more links the better". Well, guess what, they are wrong. They should be saying, "the more relevant and quality links the better".

Guidelines For Screening An SEO Vendor

  1. Do they promise anything? If so, run far away. SEO changes too much for any promises to be made. Naturally, there needs to be a system in place to help you measure results, but no promises.
  2. Is there a big commitment? SEO takes a while to see some results, but you shouldn't be signing long term contracts until you're convinced they are the right company for you. Ask for a trial period in which you pay monthly.
  3. Do they lay out what they are going to deliver to you (number of links, submissions etc.)? If so, you need to ask them for specifics. Some company's submit every client to the same sites and build links in the same places and charge too much for it. They shouldn't pigeon hole you into the same marketing strategy as every other company, or it won't work well.
  4. Do they perform keyword research? If not, they are not real SEOs. This is the most neglected area of SEO and also one of the most important.
  5. How long have they been in business? A lot of SEO companies, especially out of foreign country's, are brand new company's that bought themselves a couple pieces of software and then decided to get started with little to no experience.
  6. Ask if their team is all in America or if they hire out any of their SEO. A lot of companies are using cheap labor from other countries to do backlink building for them. In these cases, they are using unskilled laborers to do some of the "menial" tasks in SEO. Well, there are now very few parts of SEO that are easy to do. If they are using unskilled labor to do a large portion of their SEO work, stay away from them.

Hopefully, these items will give you a better understanding of what to look for. SEO is a truly complicated field of study. Unfortunately, there are no standards of education in the industry because it moves too fast to teach in school. So, anyone with a computer can claim they are a search engine optimizer. So, watch out for those "fake SEOs", get a real SEO, and boost your business.

Q&A on Avoiding Fake SEOs in 2023

Question: With all these algorithm updates, how can I even tell if an SEO company is using legitimate strategies?

Answer: Look for red flags like guaranteed results, heavy reliance on backlinks from irrelevant sites, and vague explanations of their methods. Conversely, a good SEO should:

  • Focus on content quality and relevance: They should discuss in-depth keyword research, content creation, and user experience optimization.
  • Stay updated on Google's latest changes: Ask about their understanding of BERT, MUM, and other recent updates, and how they adapt their strategies accordingly.
  • Offer transparent reporting and measurable results: They should track progress through analytics and provide understandable reports on SEO efforts.
  • Prioritize long-term growth: Ethical SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Look for companies focused on sustainable practices and organic traffic growth.

Question: Is SEO still relevant in the age of social media and online ads?

Answer: Absolutely! SEO remains crucial for organic reach and building brand authority. While social media and ads can drive traffic, a strong SEO foundation ensures your website ranks well for relevant searches, attracting visitors who are actively looking for your products or services.

Question: I run a small business. Can I do my own SEO or do I need to hire a company?

Answer: Basic SEO techniques are within reach for any business owner. You can leverage keyword research tools, optimize your website content, and engage in local SEO practices like Google My Business listings. However, if you're looking for deeper expertise, complex campaign management, or faster results, partnering with a reputable SEO agency can be a worthwhile investment.

Question: I'm worried about getting penalized by Google. What are some common SEO blunders to avoid?

Answer: Steer clear of tactics like:

  • Keyword stuffing: Overusing targeted keywords unnaturally within your content.
  • Buying backlinks: Links from irrelevant or low-quality websites can hurt your ranking.
  • Cloaking and hidden content: Serving different content to search engines and users can trigger penalties.
  • Ignoring mobile optimization: Google prioritizes websites that offer a smooth mobile experience.

Bonus Tip: Don't chase the latest SEO trends blindly. Stick to established best practices and adapt your strategies based on Google's official updates and guidelines.

Don't Let "Fake SEOs" Fool You: Grow Your Business with White Hat Expertise

In today's digital jungle, navigating the SEO landscape can feel like dodging tigers and quicksand. You need a skilled guide, not a snake-oil salesman promising instant riches. That's where Foremost Media, a trusted White Hat SEO agency, comes in.

Stop wasting time and money on shady tactics. While "fake SEOs" peddle magic links and empty promises, we at Foremost Media take a different approach. We're the Sherpas of the SEO climb, leading you to the summit of Google rankings with ethical, sustainable strategies:

  • Content that captivates: We craft magnetic stories that draw audiences in and keep them hooked. Google loves quality content, and so do your customers.
  • Keywords with laser focus: We meticulously research the keywords that drive targeted traffic, turning casual browsers into loyal clients.
  • Technical wizardry: We optimize your website's infrastructure and performance, ensuring a smooth journey for every visitor, from desktop to mobile.
  • Transparency that shines: We keep you in the loop with clear reports and consistent communication, so you know exactly what's working (and what needs tweaking).

Foremost Media isn't just about rankings; we're about building a thriving online presence that fuels your business growth. We understand that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, and we're with you every step of the way.

Ready to ditch the "fake SEOs" and climb the ranks with a White Hat partner? Schedule your free consultation today and discover how Foremost Media can make your online dreams a reality.

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